So on Friday I was looking through The Sydney Writers’ Festival program – as I often do – and I started to notice just how many authors were going that I like.
Heaps, in fact.
In previous years it’s been one or two, but I started to tally it and once I had written down over fifteen events that I wanted to see, I started to seriously consider going.
A quick check of the old bank account made me see I’d been paid early (hooray!) which pretty much cemented it – I was going!
Flights and accommodation later, I started to specifically plot which sessions I needed to buy tickets for.
Looking down my haphazard list, I saw that majority of the sessions were free. FREE!
Music to my student-stretched-budget ears!
In fact, I’ve only paid for four sessions (The Forest for the Trees: Writers & Publishing in 2012 (which is a full-day program of six seminars for only $25. $25!!! I would have paid $25 each!), Jeffrey Eugenides (can you say excited! First time in Australia!), The Feminist Supremacy? (Tara Moss! Catherine Deveny! Kathy Lette! Emily Maguire!) and Why Get Married When You Could Be Happy? BENJAMIN LAW!!!) out of the fifteen or so I’m going to see.
Which is a huge difference from Melbourne Writers Festival, where hardly any sessions are free.
But as I thought about it a little more, I started to consider whether it was actually a good thing or not.
Apparently SWF is a nightmarish mess of huge lines, crazy fans, and people leaving sessions early to line up for the next one.
I informed her that I will cry if I don’t get into Oliver Jeffers, who is only doing one non-ticketed event. He is one of my favourite children’s authors, with Lost and Found being one of my favourite books. He was an important factor is deciding whether to go or not, and I will be beyond devastated if I don’t get to see him.
Toni advised me to have a game plan and make sure I get to things extra early. “No stopping for coffee or to go to the toilet!” she told me with a laugh, “Just go straight there!”
I’ve come to the conclusion that I’d much rather pay $15/$20 for each of those other ten or so sessions to guarantee a seat.
So send me positive thoughts, okay? I REALLY NEED TO SEE OLIVER JEFFERS.
Apart from that potential issue, I am so incredibly excited about it. I have fab accommodation right in the centre of the city, booked flights around what sessions I wanted to see, and am so excited with the excellent program (although, not much YA to be honest).
Anyone been to SWF before? Any tips?